After a decade-long separation, delays and bureaucratic obstacles, Rasha visited her ailing mother with her children: Rasha, born in the Gaza Strip, married a West Bank resident in 2002 and moved to live with him there. However, Rasha’s address in the Palestinian population registry was only changed to the West Bank in August 2011, some nine years after she moved from the Gaza Strip. During this time, she refrained from traveling to Gaza for fear that once there, Israel would not permit her to return again to the West Bank. Over those years, her father passed away, her siblings got married and nephews and nieces were born. Rasha heard of all these events from afar.
In October 2011, Rasha’s mother was badly injured in the head from a fall and also suffered a herniated disc in the back and neck. She continued to lose consciousness periodically after her release from hospital. In late October, Rasha filed an application to visit her ailing mother in Gaza along with her children. Since Rasha received no response, Gisha contacted the civil administration requesting the visit be arranged urgently. The civil administration demanded she file another application as the original did not include reference to her children. The original documents Rasha submitted did include an application for her children, but Rasha nevertheless filed an application once again.
Two weeks later, the civil administration called and told Rasha that she must supply medical documents in English or Hebrew, as the medical report she submitted was, surprisingly, in Arabic. The civil administration later informed Rasha that it was in fact possible to submit medical reports in Arabic. Only on January 3rd, over two months after Rasha made her original application, did Gisha receive confirmation that her application to visit her mother had been approved.
In January 2012, Rasha and her four children traveled to the Gaza Strip for a week. Rasha had a chance to reunite with her family and care for her ailing mother, who met her four grandchildren for the first time.